It’s always amazed me that carriers, who know more about mobile consumers than anyone, have been the slowest to adopt mobile marketing and advertising. While there’s some undeniable barriers carriers must overcome, third-party providers are already doing their part to help in the cause.
Oracle, for example, recently launched a new platform aimed squarely at wireless carriers to help them get on the mobile advertising bandwagon without being left in the dust by competitors and other mobile ad startups that are gaining momentum left and right.
The platform, aptly named “Oracle Communications Marketing and Advertising,” was built to make good use of the mounds of data carriers possess regarding their subscribers. The platform compiles important, and many times fragmented, information about subscribers, such as age, gender, usage patterns, or location, so that advertisers can send highly relevant and targeted ads to consumers. The platform also provides campaign management tools, so that operators can work directly with advertisers or agencies along the way.
In terms of ad-formats Oracle’s new platform can provide, it’s still somewhat limited in nature, but includes the basics such as bulk messaging via SMS, MMS or WAP Push and can even offer carriers revenue sharing agreements or subsidized services through partnering advertisers. Though the platform can more or less hold carriers hands through the process of monetizing via mobile marketing and advertising, it still presents some unique hurdles to overcome.
The biggest hurdle, and a long-standing roadblock between mobile advertisers and carriers, is the fact that while it may be beneficial for an advertiser to work directly with a carrier in terms of the user-data you can then utilize, it still only gives you access to one carrier’s user base and subsequent mobile audience. For instance, a brand going after the male demographic ages 25-34 would obviously want its message delivered to the largest audience possible, not just the demographic on one particular carrier.
What carriers need is a centralized platform that can bring together the user and demographical data from numerous carriers, and offer a tightly integrated mashup-based platform for advertisers to utilize without having to create a campaign and distribute it differently for each provider.
Until this type of opportunity is available, advertisers will likely shy away from working directly with one carrier or another and opt instead for a third-party platform that brings together mobile audiences from all the carriers combined.